The global helicopter market is staging a mixed recovery but will take two to three years to recapture pre-crisis levels, the head of the helicopters division of planemaker Airbus (AIR.PA) said on Wednesday.

“We have had a first sight of recovery in the worldwide market, which progressed by 40% in 2021 from 2020,” Airbus Helicopters Chief Executive Bruno Even said.

“It will take two to three years to recover levels before the crisis, but the trend is there,” he told reporters, adding he expected trends seen in 2021 to be confirmed in 2022.

The world’s largest commercial helicopter maker said earlier that deliveries rose 13% to 338 units in 2021, up from 300 in 2020.

New orders outpaced deliveries, with 419 gross orders in 2021, or a net tally of 414 after cancellations.

Orders rose sharply from a coronavirus-impacted total of 289 gross orders and 268 net orders in 2020.Read more